Coffeepot

Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Coffeepot
Coffeepot
Coffeepot
Coffeepot
Title
Coffeepot
Date 
1775/76
Medium 
Silver
Dimensions 
Overall: 9 3/8 x 5 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. ( 23.8 x 13.7 x 15.9 cm )Silver Weight with handle: 50 oz (troy) 4 dwt (1561 g)
Description 
Louis XV coffee pot; raised pear-shaped body on three cast scroll feet with applied acanthus leaves on the legs and shield-shaped joints with horizontal bands surrounded by foliate garland, shells and topped with leaves; molded bands below the plain rim; circular, hinged, domed lid with applied, cast reeded bundles wrapped with bands around the rim; cast foliate medallion applied in the center around foliate finial; scroll and acanthus thumbpiece over the cylinder hinge and the foliate swagged hinge-plate with a leaf drop; applied, cast spout with a swag garland and shell motif over a shield and foliate drop below and a notched lip; cylindrical handle-socket with a reeded bundle wrapped in bands around the edge and a circular juncture surrounded by a foliate band; straight turned wooden handle (replacement); center of the body engraved with the Livingston family arms, surmounted by crest of a three-masted ship; banner below inscribed, "SPERO MELIORA" in roman letters; maker's marks struck on the underside.
Credit Line 
Gift of Mr. Goodhue Livingston
Object Number 
1951.284
Marks 
Engraved at front center: the Livingston family arms, includes quartered shield with three gilly flowers within a tressure flory at quarters 1 and 4, counter flory, 2 quartered with three gilly flowers in a chevron in 1 and 4 and 2 and 3 three crescents, 3 a bend between six billets, surrounded by a garland and surmounted by a ship of three masts, with a banner below inscribed, "SPERO MELIORA" in roman letters.Mark: stamped at underside of lid and at bottom of body: "A" crowned (Paris charge mark from 1774-80 period), "M" crowned with conforming surround (Paris town mark of 1775), "J N/ R" below a trefoil and crown (le poincon de maitre).
Gallery Label 
This coffeepot was purchased by Gouverneur Morris, the United States minister to France, who resided in Paris during the French Revolution. While in Paris, Morris witnessed the fall of the monarchy and, with it, the Revolutionary Government's sales of the personal effects of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Morris may have purchased this coffeepot from a French aristocrat and royal sympathizer in need of ready cash to flee the country. He later sold the coffeepot to Robert Livingston, who succeeded Morris in his position. As United States minister to France, Morris explained, Livingston would need a proper dinner service for use at official events. Morris wrote to him: "You cannot handsomely do without one."
Provenance 
Robert R. Livingston (1748-1813), who married Mary Stevens (1752-1814); to their daughter Margaret Maria Livingston (1783-1813), who married Robert L. Livingston (1775-1843); to their son Eugene Augustus Livingston (1813-1893), who married (2nd) Elizabeth Rhodes Fisher (1828-1878); to their son Richard Montgomery Callender Livingston (1861-1945); to his cousin Goodhue Livingston (1867-1951), the donor.
Bibliography 
Hofer, Margaret K. "Seventeenth-and eighteenth-century family silver." The Magazine Antiques 167 (2005): 156-161.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group